Thursday, October 23, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday - Post 237: San Diego Library/Archives Special Collections

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - time to look in my digital image files to see what treasures I can find for my family history and genealogy musings.

The treasure today is the wealth of published and manuscript material that exists in public, academic and private libraries, state and national archives, genealogical and historical societies, etc.

I went to the San Diego Central Library in downtown San Diego (330 Park Blvd) yesterday with my CVGS colleagues, and had a wonderful time.  Three hours is too short!  But necessary because they opened at 12 noon and we had to be home by 4 p.m.  

While there, I concentrated on requesting unique holdings that might have my Carringer, Auble and Smith ancestors in them, starting from 1887.  Librarian Kate was very helpful, going into the restricted special collections and bringing out what she thought might interest me.

Here are some of my "genea-jewels:"

1)  The Great Register (of Voters) for San Diego in 1888-1892.  My great-grandfather, Henry A. Carringer (1853-1946) registered to vote on 9 August 1888:

Left-hand page is above, right-hand page is below:

Note that naturalization information is on the right-hand page for some entries.

The columns are Name; Age; Country of Nativity; Occupation; Local Residence; Naturalized Date, Place and Court; Date of Registration; Sworn; and Cancellation.

2)  A tourist souvenir guide published in 1897 with a description of many of the local towns, and photographs of some of the homes and attractions.  The cover:

The inside of the front cover has tourist advertisements.  I love the "Old Mexico and Return in a Day" ad:

Inside the magazine is information about different towns and photographs of homes and attractions:

I didn't see anything in this guide about my ancestral families, but what is portrayed in this guide is the environment in which they lived their daily lives.  

The transcription of the advertisement for the train ride to Mexico is:

Old Mexico and... Return in a Day
Through Orange and Lemon Groves
The popular
60-Mile Excursion
over the
National City & Otay R'y
Leaving Foot Fifth Street, San Diego, at 9:30 A.M. Daily

Crossing the border line at Tia Juana, giving one hour to visit the Mexican Custom House, curio stores and other places of interest, buy a fine cigar, mail a postal card to your friends in the United States, and after having your handkerchief stamped with a unique memento of the Republic as a souvenir, again take the train for National City and lunch at the International Hotel, or if you have provided a well filled hamper, stop at Olivewood, the beautiful grounds of Mr. W.C. Kimball, and enjoy it in the shade and fragrance of orange trees and roses; or if your time is limited, return to San Diego, arriving at 1:30 P.M.  After lunch visit the great Sweetwater Dam, 100 feet high, 500 feet long, and 46 feet thick at base; built of solid granite at a cost of $1,000,000; making it all a fine day's outing and a trip through the back country, returning to San Diego at 4:44 P.M.

Fare for Round Trip, including 'Bus to old Tia Juana.. $1.00.

For further information and tickets apply at Railway and Hotel offices.  Branch offices, 771 and 950 Fifth street, 1420 D street, or Station foot of Fifth street.
                                                               E.A. Hornbeck, Superintendent

I'll bet that my Carringer family invested the $1 each to take the train trip to Old Mexico on a day outing while my grandfather was a young boy.  

3)  The Marston Company newspaper advertisements collection for 1910, 1920 and 1930.  Newspaper pages with advertisements for the premier department store in San Diego were collected and bound in large books over the years.  Here is an example of a page from July 1920:

My grandfather, Lyle L. Carringer, worked at The Marston Company from 1906 until 1961, first as a cash boy and eventually as paymaster and auditor.  My grandmother worked as a saleslady at Marston's in the 1930s and 1940s.  

That's enough for this blog post - I will show some more genea-jewels I found next week for Treasure Chest Thursday.

As in most archives and repositories, in order to see records like these, the researcher needs to access the catalog at the repository, or ask a helpful librarian/archivist to recommend items from a specific time frame.  In my case, I asked for the 1887 to 1920 time frame.  Fortunately, Kate was not overwhelmed with visitors and was able to provide me with records and brochures that took me back over 100 years in San Diego history.

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

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